Top 10 Things To Do In Banda Aceh

Banda Aceh is one of the lesser visited provinces in Indonesia, although those who make the trip will be rewarded with interesting sights and things to do. Banda Aceh is easily accessible as you can fly in directly to the main airport here or you can travel to Medan in North Sumatra and then move on from there.

The province was devastated by a tsunami in 2004 but has been rebuilt so that only a few reminders can still be found. This is also the only place in Indonesia to have Shariah law but visitors will find it remarkably laid back, at least on the surface, and while you should dress conservatively you will not be expected to cover up as the locals do.

Here are our top picks of what to do in Banda Aceh:

Mesjid (Masjid) Raya Baiturrahman

Mesjid Raya is the main mosque in Banda Aceh and was built in the 19th century by the Dutch. This mosque is an absolute must visit. The mosque is decorated with gorgeous domes and beautiful traditional Muslim Islamic motifs. It is very picturesque and is the favourite of many photographers at day or night. At night, it lits up beautifully with the strategic lightings. Note that if you visit you will have to dress conservatively and women will have to wear a headscarf.

Jalan Mohammad Jam
Opening hours: 7-11 am and 1.30-4 pm.

Admission is free although donations are encouraged.

Masjid Mosque Banda Aceh, Indonesia

Aceh great mosque. Photo by Vidi Agiorno

Tsunami Museum

The Tsunami Museum is one of the top attractions in Aceh and is designed as a powerful tribute to those who lost their lives when the waters raged into the province. Around 170,000 people are said to have died in the floods and the Tsunami Museum is filled with waterfalls that mimic some of the experience. You will also find videos and news reports of the tragedy and this is an exceptionally moving visit if you want to learn more about this difficult period of Aceh’s history.

Jalan Sultan Iskandar Muda, Banda Aceh.
Opening hours:
Tuesday – Sunday 9-12 pm and 2-4.30 pm.
Friday 9-11.30 am and 2.30-4.30 pm.
Closed on Mondays.

Tsunami Museum, Banda Aceh, Indonesia

Tsunami Museum. Photo by Dinokl, via Wikimedia Commons

PLTD Apung

Another reminder of the devastating tsunami can be found on a visit to PLTD Apung which is a large ship that would have once sailed in the waters around Aceh. When the tsunami hit it was carried inland and has been left there as a monument to those who lost their lives. You can actually climb aboard the ship and walk around and one of the best reasons to do this is to look out across Banda Aceh and take in the scenery.

Jalan Harapan, Banda Aceh.

Monday – Sunday 9 am – 12 pm and 2 – 5.30 pm.
Fridays 2 – 5 pm.

PLTD Apung ship, Banda Aceh, Indonesia

PLTD Apung ship. Photo by Andy Doyle from Dublin, Republic of Ireland, via Wikimedia Commons

Warung Kopi Solong

If you make it to Aceh then you absolutely mustn’t miss the chance to visit Warung Kopi Solong which is something of an institution in Banda Aceh. The region is known for its delicious coffee and this place has been serving up some of Aceh’s finest brews since 1974. If you are looking for a souvenir of your trip then you can also buy bags of the delicious and earthy grounds beans.

Jalan Teuku Iskandar
Opening hours: 9 am – 7 pm

-> Find the best Banda Aceh hotel deals at Booking.com *

Museum Negeri Banda Aceh

The Aceh Museum is well worth exploring if you want to learn more about the culture of this part of Indonesia. Inside you will find some collections with photographs and memorabilia like farming equipment, textiles, swords, and other traditional curios. The signature piece here, however, is a stuffed baby buffalo with two heads.

Jalan Sultan Alauddin Mahmudsyah
Opening hours: Tues – Sun 8 am – 12 pm and 2 -4.30 pm.
Fridays 8.30 -11.30 am and 2.30 – 4 pm.
Closed on Mondays.
Admission: IDR 10,000.

Museum, Banda Aceh, Indonesia

Museum Banda Aceh. Photo by Si Gam, via Wikimedia Commons

Rumah Aceh

Rumah Aceh is actually part of Museum Negeri Banda Aceh and sits in the grounds of the museum. Rumah Aceh features a house on stilts which shows you how people would have lived in the days of old. This is actually the most interesting attraction at the museum so make sure not to miss it.

Jalan Sultan Alauddin Mahmudsyah
Opening hours: Tues – Sun 8 – 12 pm and 2 – 4.30 pm. Fridays 8.30 am – 11.30 am and 2.30 pm – 4 pm. Closed on Mondays.

Admission: IDR 5,000.

Rumah Aceh Tenggara, Banda Aceh, Indonesia

Rumah Aceh Tenggara. Photo by Rilies via Wikimedia Commons

Kherkhof Cemetery and Museum

Another moving sight in Aceh is Kherkhof which is a large cemetery with Dutch and Indonesian graves. The soldiers interred here died while fighting against the Acehs and there are inscriptions of the names of those who died at the entrance of the cemetery. The area was destroyed in the tsunami and the grave stones ripped up by the waters but these have now been replaced with wooden crosses.

Jalan Teuku Umar
Opening hours: 8 am – 6 pm.

Kherkof Cemetery and Museum, Banda Aceh, Indonesia

Kherkof Cemetery and Museum. Photo by Rachmat04 via Wikimedia Commons

Gunongan

Gunongan is a pretty little attraction although you may not know what you are looking for at first. This is actually a monument built by Sultan Iskandar Muda for his wife as a reminder of her hometown of Pahang in Malaysia. It would have been used as a bathing place for the princess although now anyone can visit.

Jalan Teuku Umar
Opening hours 8 am – 6 pm.

Gunongan monument, Banda Aceh, Indonesia

Gunongan monument Banda Aceh. Photo by Si Gam, via Wikimedia Commons

Pasar Malam Rek

Pasar Malam Rek is definitely worth a look if you are in the area as this is the most famous of all the night markets in Banda Aceh. As darkness falls, the stalls start up, and you will find delicious treats such as freshly grilled satay, fried rice, and toothsome noodles.

Intersection of Jalan Ahmad Yani and Jalan Khairil Anwar.
Opening hours: 5 – 10 pm.

Pulau Weh

For many people, the main reason to come to Aceh is to visit Pulau Weh which is an island that can easily be reached from Banda Aceh. Pulau Weh is something of a hidden gem in the region and you can expect azure seas and some excellent snorkelling opportunities. This is one of the top tourist spots in Aceh both for foreign and domestic tourists although you are unlikely to find crowds whenever you choose to visit.

Pulau Weh, Banda Aceh, Indonesia

Pulau Weh Islands. Photo by Vanina W.

Boasting so many things to do and attractions, Banda Aceh is truly a delightful surprise of Sumatra. From here on there are many places to visit such as Medan, Lake Toba, Berastagi and Pulau Weh Island. So if you are ever in Sumatra, remember to add on this interesting city to your trip list.


Where to Stay in Banda Aceh

Seventeen Hotel
If you are looking for a hotel located strategically in the center of Banda Aceh, this one is for you. This 2-star hotel is value for money with simple and clean modern rooms plus good services.
Check out the latest prices and reviews on Booking.com *
Check out the latest prices and reviews on Agoda.com *

Hermes Palace Hotel Banda Aceh
This more luxurious hotel is another hotel located in the center of the city. It has modern air-conditioned rooms, restaurant, outdoor swimming pool and even free bikes! Spa and massages are also offered here.
Check out the latest prices and reviews on Booking.com *
Check out the latest prices and reviews on Agoda.com *

Related articles:
Top 10 Must Visit Places in Sumatra
2 Weeks in Sumatra Itinerary
Overnight Bus from Medan to Banda Aceh

Top 10 Must Visit Places in Sumatra

The island of Sumatra, located to the west of Java, is home to rich landscapes, blustering volcanoes, and unique culture that makes it a fascinating if under-visited stop on the tourist trail. The tourism infrastructure is more basic in Sumatra than other areas, but for those who make the journey, a trip across this diverse island is a rewarding experience, and some of the highlights include tropical islands, limpid crater lakes, enchanting wildlife, and bustling cities, to name but a few.

Here we take a look at the Top 10 Places to Visit in Sumatra.

Mentawai Islands

Just off the coast of West Sumatra lie a cluster of volcanic islands that make up the Mentawai Islands, a hidden gem perfect for those who want some surf and sand that is firmly off the beaten track. Travel here is not too arduous if you take a ferry from Padang to the largest of the islands, Siberut, and from there you can venture on to smaller islands that boast better surf breaks like Pulau Sipora.

-> Read Guide to Mentawai Islands

Mentawai Islands, Sumatra, Indonesia

Mentawai Islands, Sumatra. Photo by Claire

Medan

The largest city in Sumatra, Medan is often maligned as a tourist spot and only used as an entry and exit point for the nearby Lake Toba and Bukit Lawang, although to miss Medan altogether is to miss a trick. Internationally it may not be well known, but within Indonesia is it considered one of the country’s premium foodie destinations, particularly in neighboring Java, and visitors flock here just to eat and drink their way around the city. If you are using Medan is your main entry point on to other things in Indonesia, then at least make sure to sample some of its culinary delights before you leave, such Soto Medan, a spicy coconut milk based soup often eaten for breakfast and Mie Aceh, curried fried noodles.

-> Read Medan Travel Guide

-> Find places to stay in Medan at Booking.com. Free cancellation. *

Medan Grand Mosque, Sumatra, Indonesia

Grand Mosque, Medan, Sumatra. Photo by Ismail Batubara

Lake Toba

As you move around North Sumatra, one of premium attractions here is Lake Toba, which has the claim to fame of being the largest crater lake in the world, having been formed by a massive eruption of a now dormant volcano, or, if you believe the local legend, by a magic fish. Lake Toba is known for being the home of the Batak, one of the main indigenous groups in Sumatra, and the tombs of Batak kings of old as well as traditional Batak style houses can all be visited at Lake Toba.

-> Check out our guide to Lake Toba – Accomodations, Things to do and more
-> See Top 10 Things to Do in Lake Toba

Lake Toba, Sumatra, Indonesia

Lake Toba, Sumatra, Indonesia. Photo by Holmes Nainggolan

Padang

Padang is yet another place in Sumatra that is raved about by domestic travelers and largely ignored by international tourists. One of the main reasons that foreign tourists go to Padang is to move on to other places like the Mentawai Islands, and so the city has a wide range of accommodation options and facilities, but the biggest draw here is the food. Widely touted as the best food in the whole of Indonesia (a lofty claim in a county with over 17,000 islands) Padang food comes in the form of the ubiquitous Nasi Padang, a range of small plates of vegetables, curries, and accompaniments like tofu or tempe (compressed soybeans) served with rice.

-> Find places to stay in Padang at Booking.com. Free cancellation. *

Bukit Lawang

To the north of Medan, you will find Bukit Lawang, most well known for its Orang Utan sanctuary that aims to rehabilitate these precious primates and reintroduce them into the wild. Bukit Lawang lies at the beginning of Gunung Leuser National Park, a protected area of jungle that stretches up into Aceh Province and due to its unspoilt charms it’s is a great place to go trekking and check out some of the local flora and fauna.

-> Read Guide to Orangutan Trekking at Bukit Lawang

Orang Utan Sanctuary at Bukit Lawang, Sumatra, Indonesia

Orang Utan Sanctuary at Bukit Lawang, Sumatra. Photo by Arian Zweger

Pulau Weh

Pulau Weh is arguably one of the most beautiful islands in Indonesia, but unfortunately, most visitors never make the trip up there to find out. Located off the coast of Aceh Province, Pulau Weh has some of the best diving and snorkeling in Indonesia and is thankfully far less crowded than other beach locations, while still having just enough visitors to ensure that tourists will be well catered for.

-> See Guide to Diving Pulau Weh Islands

Pulau Weh, Sumatra, Indonesia

Pulau Weh, Sumatra. Photo by Chalz

Banda Aceh

The capital of Aceh Province, Banda Aceh has sadly become synonymous with the devastating tsunami of 2004, although a trip here also offers a glimpse into a very different way of life to the rest of Indonesia. The Tsunami Museum, in particular, is an extremely moving experience, and the majestic Grand Mosque is an example of the beauty of Islamic architecture and is also well worth a visit to learn more about this conservative corner of the country. As Aceh is also famous for its coffee, visitors shouldn’t miss a trip to one of Banda Aceh’s most famous coffee shops, Warung Kopi Solong.

-> Read Top 10 Things to Do in Banda Aceh

-> Find places to stay in Banda Aceh at Booking.com. Free cancellation. *

Nias

Bali may claim it has the best surfing in Indonesia but Nias has a well-established surf scene for those in the know. The island of Nias is perfect for those looking to get away from the crowds at Kuta, and there is just the right mix of facilities like guesthouses with a serene and unhurried atmosphere that is often lost in frenetic Bali. Aside from the surfing, Nias has some amazing local rituals such as stone jumping.

Nias, Sumatra, Indonesia

Nias, Sumatra. Photo by Atlas Obscura

Bukittinggi

The best thing about Bukittinggi may not be the city itself, but actually, the areas that surround it, and in particular the gorgeous Lake Maninjau that ripples with clear emerald waters and is firmly off the tourist trail. Located in West Sumatra, Bukittinggi is home to the Minangkabau, the indigenous people of the area, so it’s also a great place to find sweeping unique Minangkabau architecture and learn more about this matriarchal society.

Lake Meninjau at Bukittinggi, Sumatra, Indonesia

Lake Meninjau at Bukittinggi, Sumatra. Photo by Wikimedia

Palembang

The capital of South Sumatra, Palembang’s claim to fame is that it is one of the oldest cities of Indonesia, as well as being the center of the Srivijaya Kingdom in the days of yore. What makes Palembang a worthy stop in Sumatra is its status as a port town and its position on the Musi River. Many of the city’s main attractions are located along the river, and there are also quaint floating restaurants on local wooden boats that serve some of the best food in Palembang.

Even though still under the radar of the tourists of Indonesia, Sumatra has a lot of interesting tourist attractions to offer. Do you have another must visit place in Sumatra? Share with us so that we can learn more about what Sumatra has to offer.

Related articles:
Sumatra Travel Guide
North Sumatra 1 Week Itinerary – Medan, Berastagi, Lake Toba
Top 10 Must Visit Places in Indonesia
Top 10 Must Visit Places in Sulawesi

Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Indonesia

Indonesia, a country of 1,700 islands and being one of the largest countries in Asia in size and population, it offers many captivating tourist attractions for travelers. Surprisingly it may not be one of the top destinations of the world yet but it is a good thing as it kept the place with the charm of the unexplored, except for the famous Bali of course.

Indonesia’s tourist sites include attractions from historical to natural to cultural. For historical tourist attractions you will find ancient temples and grand mosque. For natural tourist attractions you will find from breathtaking volcanoes to serene crater lake to Komodo Dragons and Orang Utans to amazing underwater diving experience. On cultural tourist attractions, there are ancient funeral rites and tribal villages.

Read on about the best tourist attractions in Indonesia to know more about these wonders.

Historical Tourist Attractions

Tourist Attraction: Candi Borobudur (temple), Java, Indonesia

Candi Borobudur, Java, Indonesia


Candi Borobudur (temple)

This 9th century temple is an Indonesia UNESCO Heritage site located in the heart of Java. It is one of the largest Buddhist temple in the world, consisting of six square platforms with 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha status. Thousands of Buddhists does their pilgrimage here in Borobudur during Waisak day. This Buddhist temple is one of its kind, setting itself apart from the rest of Asia’s Buddhist temple with unique structures and carvings. Try to get in during the earliest opening time at 8am to catch the temple at the most serene to fully appreciate the beauty of it. It is also recommended to stay at Manohara Resort * and take the Borobudur sunrise tour exclusively from them.

Tourist Attraction: Candi Prambanan (temple), Java, Indonesia

Candi Prambanan, Java, Indonesia

Candi Prambanan (temple)

Prambanan, a Hindu temple situated in Yogyakarta, is a well known tourist attraction in Java, Indonesia. It is built during the 9th century for Trimurti as an expression that God is the Creator (Brahma), Preserver (Vishnu) and also the Destroyer (Shiva). It is also one of the Indonesia UNESCO World Heritage Site. This ancient temple is one of the largest Hindu temple architecture in Southeast Asia.

-> Read Top 10 Things to Do in Yogyakarta

Pura Luhur, Uluwatu Temple, Bali, Indonesia

Tourist Attraction: Uluwatu Temple, Bali, Indonesia

Pura Luhur, Uluwatu Temple

This spectacular temple is perched at the edge of a large rugged limestone cliff of 70 meters above the Indian ocean. Imagine a scene from cliffhanger with a temple as the touch of dramatic spelndour. This temple is located in Bukit Peninsula in Bali. Its majestic structure is constructed and expanded many times since 11th century. Go to the higher grounds nearby for a breathtaking view of either side and sunsets over Uluwatu temple. One of the most popular place to stay here is Gravity * and read where to stay near Uluwatu temple for more.

Tourist Attraction: Baiturrahman Grand Mosque, Banda Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia

Baiturrahman Grand Mosque, Banda Aceh, Sumatra

Baiturrahman Grand Mosque (masjid raya)

This majestic mosque, located in the city center of Banda Aceh is one of the top destination here and stood as a testament to the historical grandeur of Sumatra. It is a significant symbol to the Aceh people for their rich religion and culture. This is especially so as it survived the devastating 2004 tsunami still intact. The design of this mosque is a fusion of the colonial and Moghul Indian architecture with the local traditional Acehnese features.

-> Read Top 10 Things to Do in Banda Aceh

Natural Tourist Attractions

Mount Bromo, Java, Indonesia

Tourist Attraction: Mount Bromo, Java

Mount Bromo

Mount Bromo, located in East Java, can be touted as the most iconic among the many volcano mountains in Indonesia. This is due to it strategically lies in the middle of Tengger caldera, a crater of fine volcanic black sand, while standing foreboding spewing off white sulphurous smoke. It is still one of the most active volcanoes in the world and continues to draw many travelers from far and wide to wake up at wee hours to hike and catch the sunrise over the ethereal view of Mount Bromo.

Lake Toba, Sumatra, Indonesia

Tourist Attraction: Lake Toba, Sumatra

Lake Toba

This largest volcanic lake measuring 1,707 sq ft is called Lake Toba, also known as Danau Toba. It is formed after a gigantic volcanic eruption about 70,000 years ago and is the world’s biggest caldera lake. Lake Toba is rumored to be a product of a massive supervolcanic eruption known as the Toba catastrophe theory which has supposedly killed many of the human population. Besides, there are the Batak people here that are well known for their friendliness.The best rated hotels here are Horas Family Home * and Toba Village Inn *.

->See Top 10 Things to Do in Lake Toba

Komodo Dragon, Flores, Indonesia

Tourist Attraction: Komodo Dragon, Flores, Sumatra

Komodo Dragon

Found at Komodo National Park in Flores is another UNESCO World Heritage Site in Indonesia. Komodo Dragon may very well be the last of the dragons in the world. Come here and get up close and personal with them though be careful as there are reports of attack though rare. This park is also a refuge for many other wild terrestrial species, with mixture of Asiatic and Australian origins and wide variety of marine life. To get here, fly to Labuan Bajo or take a boat trip from Bali or Lombok to Komodo Island. Stay at the highly rated Komodo Resort * just next to the Komodo National Park.

Tourist Attraction: Orang Utan, Bukit Lawang, Sumatra, Indonesia

Orang Utan, Bukit Lawang, Sumatra

Orangutan at Bukit Lawang

Bukit Lawang became a top tourist attraction because of the chance to see the Orang Utan living in the wild in proximity. This Orang Utan sanctuary is also part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Indonesia, and literally means “door to the hills”. Travelers will come here to do trekking in hopes to catch sights of the rare Sumatran Orangutans. There is a Orangutan viewing platform where there are twice a day feedings which will almost guarantee a view of them. The Best Accommodations in Bukit Lawang“>best accommodations at Bukit Lawang are Hotel Orangutan * and EcoTravel Cottages *.

-> Read Guide to Trekking Orangutan at Bukit Lawang

Raja Ampat, Papua, Indonesia

Tourist Attraction: Diving at Raja Ampat, Papua

Raja Ampat

Raja Ampat islands is definitely one of the top tourist destination in Indonesia not only for divers but also nature lovers and travelers alike. This diver’s paradise is well known for its riches in marine wildlife, pristine reefs and corals that would wow even the most seasoned diver. It is part of the world’s Coral Triangle which is known for housing more than 3000 species of fish and other extraordinary habitats that breed the biodiversity of its marine life. Also, Raja Ampat is a remote place left untouched by development and only independent travelers that are nature lovers made their way here.

Cultural Tourist Attractions

Tourist Attraction: Funeral Rites, Tana Toraja, Sulawesi, Indonesia

Funeral Rites, Tana Toraja, Sulawesi

Funeral rites at Tana Toraja

Tana Toraja, or also known as Torajaland, is a highland situated in the southern Sulawesi. A land almost lost in time, it spans with green lush rice terraces, tall limestone and bamboo graves with blue misty mountains as backdrop. The main tourist attraction here is the funeral rites that had been practiced for ages, even after many had adopted Christian beliefs after the Dutch colony. It is said that they are obsess with the idea of death, not in a morbid way but as something really significant to them. You may find cave graves, hanging graves, tau tau (life sized wooden effigies), baby tree graves and even mass slaughter of buffaloes, all these bringing you a sense of strangeness yet captivating.

-> See Top 5 Things to Do in Tana Toraja, Sulawesi

Tourist Attraction: Tribal Villages, Baliem Valley, Papua, Indonesia

Tribal Villages, Baliem Valley, Papua

Tribal Villages at Baliem Valley

Baliem Valley, a remote place that can only be accessed via flying into Jayapura, the nearest town. The tourist attraction here is the chance to discover tribal villages through trekking from one to another. The people of Lani, Dani and Yali tribal land or Asmat lands are living very much like how they have always been. You will find unique cultures (mummy and tradings) and fashion (traditional penis gourd attire). At the same time, you can marvel at the mountain views, rivers, and vast green fields. The traditional grass huts here are also unique while the tribes’ daily activities are fascinating. The Baliem Valley trekking range from half day walks to 30 days expedition deep into the tribal lands.

Photo credits from top: Rachel, Rachel, N/A, melburnian, schristia, schristia, Rachel, kenner116, Adhi Rachdia, idirectori, Lakshmi Sawitri, Arian Zwegers and Arian Zwegers

Related articles:
Top 10 Must Visit Places in Indonesia
Top 10 Things To Do in Indonesia

Top 10 Things To Do and Must See in Jakarta

If you are only in Jakarta for a day or even a week or more, there are bound to be places of interest to you. Jakarta is filled with sightseeing and tourist attractions, lots of shopping malls, and hidden back streets for nightlife, food, and fun.

In Jakarta, you will not find it short of tourist places to visit or tourist attractions to see or things to do. Here is our list to help you out.

-> Or jump to see the Best Accommodations in Jakarta

Top Must See Tourist Attractions in Jakarta

Beach at Ancol Dream Park, Jakarta, Indonesia

 

Beach at Ancol Dream Park, Jakarta. Photo by Pureisme

 

 


 

 

 

Ancol Dreamland / Dream Park (Taman Impian Jaya Ancol)

If you are looking for a break from the rough and tough, this is as cheesy as it sounds, Ancol Dreamland is could be your dream place. It is open for 24 hours with amusement park – Fantasy World (Dunia Fantasi (dufan)), Atlantis Water Adventure, Ocean Dream Samudra (pentas lumba) for animal shows, Seaworld, beaches (pantai), Art Market (pasar seni), golf range, bowling, Ocean Eco Park, gondola, Hailai club, art academy, paintball and wakeboarding.

National Museum, Jakarta, Indonesia

 

National Museum, Jakarta. Photo by Vasenka

National Museum

Being two centuries old, National Museum of Indonesia (musium nasional) is an icon that you must visit. It is located at Jalan Medan Merdeka Barat in center of Jakarta city and it is an archeological, historical, ethnological, and geographical museum. Jakarta’s national museum is well known as Elephant Building (gedung gajah) because of the elephant statue there. Visit here to get yourself acquainted with Jakarta and also Indonesia’s history and culutre.

National Monument (Monas), Jakarta, Indonesia

 

National Monument (Monas), Jakarta. Photo by Vasenka

National Monument

In Jakarta’s city centre of Merdeka Square, stands the National Monument (Monumen Nasional (Monas)) tower. It is a must visit for every tourist in Jakarta as it is a symbol to be beckon with. It stands to symbolize the fight for Indonesia and constructed under direction of President Sukarno. It is open daily from 800-1500 everyday except last Monday of the month.

National Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia

 

National Gallery, Jakarta. Photo by DMahendra

National Gallery

National Gallery of Indonesia is a combination of museum and art gallery in Jakarta, where you can enjoy culture, history and visual arts. Your visit to Jakarta would be well rounded with a visit to this place to admire the local arts.

Gedung Kesenian (Arts Gallery), Jakarta, Indonesia

 

Gedung Kesenian (Arts Gallery), Jakarta. Photo by Black_Claw

Gedung Kesenian Jakarta (Jakarta Arts Theater)

Built during the Dutch colonial period, Gedung Kesenian Jakarta is a concert hall in Jakarta, Indonesia. It is situated close to the Istiqlal Mosque and the Jakarta Cathedral. Check out the various arts program lined up, ranging from theater shows to musical performances. This is definitely the place to visit to stock up on cultural shows and concerts.

  -> Find the best hotel deals in Jakarta with Booking.com *  

Top Things To Do in Jakarta

Shopping at Mangga Dua, Jakarta, Indonesia

 

Shopping at Mangga Dua, Jakarta. Photo by nSeika

Shopping in Jakarta

If shopping is your thing to do, Jakarta offers a lot from high end to budget shopping from malls to markets. You may also want to look at places to stay near Plaza Indonesia * to maximise your shopping spree. Recommended Shopping malls or shopping centers or markets in Jakarta:
Plaza Indonesia of FX Mall – designer goods
Grand Indonesia
Mangga Dua – cheap yet quality imitation goods
Blok M – shoes, clothes, bags
Pasar Ikan – souvenirs and household items

Eat and Drink

Don’t forget to check out our Top 10 Best Indonesian Food to try all the delicious local delicasies and where else but Jakarta is the best place to hunt for them! One of my favourite restaurant in Jakarta that served really good local Sundanese food is Pondok Laguna. This place is popular with the locals and also travelers alike, so you may find it really pack during peak hours like lunch and dinner. Another popular culture here is the coffee culture, many locals go to coffee shops and cafes to hang out and have a good cup of coffee. With so many choices, you may want to check out our the recommendation of a local’s favourite coffee places in Jakarta.

Ecobar at Kemang Nightlife, Jakarta, Indonesia

 

Ecobar at Kemang Nightlife, Jakarta. Photo by siska maria eviline

Nightlife

Jakarta, being a large city, is definitely not short of things to do at night. For nightlife, you have many choices of clubs and bar. There are places like Kemang for the younger but dynamic crowds in Jakarta clubbing scene or cafes like Ecobar. It is one of the coolest place to party in Jakarta and the club are trendier yet affordable. Or you can go to the more famous traveler street Jalan Jaksa for some choices of bars, clubs and cafe, the better reason to party here is there are more food choices.

  -> Find hotel deals near the vibrant nightlife of Kemang *  

Spa and Massage and Beauty

There are many choices of a spa, massage or beauty here in Jakarta for self-pampering. You can go for traditional Indonesian massages, or soothing spa in the middle of the city, or even go for manicure and pedicure, facial and hair wash and styling in various malls and establishments, ranging from affordable to splurge. If you have more time in Jakarta, you can go for a weekend getaway at the Javana Spa, only 2 hours drive away from the city.

Walk Pasar Baru, Jakarta, Indonesia

 

Walk Pasar Baru, Jakarta. Photo by nSeika

Walk around Pasar Baru (Jakarta’s market)

Come here for the nostalgic walk down the memory lane in Pasar Baru, where it is one of the rare streets of Jakarta that is pedestrian-friendly. You will find many locals here and family-run business selling clothes and watches. There are many vintage fashions here, such as shirts, dresses, belts, and jackets selling as low as USD1 from second hand / old to new. Also, catch the best local Indonesian food you can find, for example, bakmi. Start walking from Metro Atom at Jalan H. Samanhudi and then walk towards the rear end, which is the Jakarta Art centre ( Gedung Kesenian Jakarta).


Best Accommodations in Jakarta

Booking.com is a good choice because most of the bookings can be cancelled right up to the trip, allowing flexibility.
Agoda.com is another good one because they have the most extensive hotel listings in Asia.

The best areas to stay in Jakarta would be the north and central Jakarta, having most of the tourist attractions here. Here are a few of the best accommodations that we recommend to stay in Jakarta:

Luxury (from 150 USD)

The Hermitage, by Marriott, Central Jakarta
A charming refurbished colonial house made into an elegant hotel. The location is also really strategic, being near a train station and quick access to the city center and beyond. With an outdoor pool, a gym, luxurious lounge area, and a restaurant situated in a courtyard, this hotel also gives a romantic atmosphere with some rooms opening up to a back garden. Truly a dream.
Check out the latest prices on Agoda.com *
Check out the latest prices on Booking.com *

Ritz-Carlton Hotel Jakarta Pacific Place, Kuningan, Central Jakarta
For those who want high security and well-known hotel with world-class services. You will find all the usual luxury here, with an impressive outdoor pool and bar, featuring a view of the city skyline. Kuningan area is also well known for its upmarket, shopping malls and restaurants all well located with good sidewalks.
Check out the latest prices on Agoda.com *
Check out the latest prices on Booking.com *

Mid-range (50 – 150 USD)

Oakwood Premier Cozmo Apartment Hotel, Kuningan, Central Jakarta
For those looking for luxury and with the comfort of a home. This hotel comes with apartment suites completed with kitchen, dining, and washing facilities. Breakfasts are also included and the location is also strategically located in Kuningan. This would also be a good fit for a family or a group.
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Harris Vertu Hotel Harmoni, Gambir, Central Jakarta
For those who are looking for the best value mid-range hotel in the middle of the action. It is situated smack in between all the top must see things in Jakarta. Recommended for smart travelers who wants to cover everything in a short time. Modern clean rooms, an outdoor pool with a view, spa, gym and restaurant.
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Budget (below 50 USD)

Yello Hotel Harmoni, Gambir, Central Jakarta
For those on a budget but wants an alternative to a hostel. This place comes with private rooms set in a hip and stylish budget hotel style. The location is great, just walking distance to the National Monument park. There is also a restaurant if you are too lazy to go out and brave the traffic at the end of the day.
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Wonderloft hostel, North Jakarta
For those on a budget and still want to be in the city center. Located in the north, this hostel is right at the corner of the famous Jakarta’s Old City, Fatahillah Square. It has a charming mix of old colonial-style with hipster-inspired interiors. Best value for money!
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Nearby Jakarta

Check out our Top 10 Day Trips from Jakarta list or if you are looking for some sun and sea, see our Top 10 Beaches near Jakarta. Popular trips around Jakarta are Bogor and Taman Safari or Bandung for shopping.

Also read on Jakarta Travel Guide for more information.

Versi Bahasa Indonesia10 Tempat Wisata di Jakarta yang Menarik

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